By Abdi Hussein
Irate Isinya sub county residents barricaded the busy Namanga road recently protesting increase of cattle theft in the region.
The protests were culmination of a spate of livestock for the past two month with dozen herders losing more than 200 sheep and goats.
Dejected locals barricaded the busy Namanga road for two hours paralysing transport completely. It took the intervention of police officers and local leaders to convince protesters to open the road
On Wednesday night, livestock thieves ambushed Mr David Semera in his homestead and made away with 20 sheep. According to him, the gang struck around midnight and ferried his herd using a getaway vehicle. He claimed to have lost Sh 140,000.
“I was woken up by consistent barking of my dogs only to wake up and find my sheep shed empty. It is a big blow as the herd was my last hope to raise my children school fees in January next year,” Said David Semera.
Locals point a finger to police officers for laxity and possible colluding with the well-coordinated livestock theft syndicate.
They claim the suspects always get away with the stolen animals despite victims notifying the security team immoderately.
“We suspect some unscrupulous police officers work in cahoots with the cartel. We have always urged the security team to mount road blocks to curb livestock theft but they ignore our plea,” Joshua Luawasa MCA Isinya said.
A spot check indicates illegal night livestock transportation is rampant giving an easy way to livestock theft. Mostly, the stolen livestock are ferried to Nairobi livestock market.
Isinya deputy county commissioner Stanley Too exonerated police officers blaming local livestock brokers for the rampant livestock theft.
“Police officers have been on high alert but local livestock brokers are to be blamed for spying and ochestrating their neighbors stock theft. The enemy is within the community but intensified police night patrols,” Said Too
He also urged locals to engage herders boy known to them to avoid herders working as spies for criminals.
In 2018 four suspected livestock thieves were lynched at Kitengela area by members of the public after stealing a herd of cattle and a lorry torched.
The agitated members of the Maasai community had trailed the thieves after stealing from a home in Korompoi area before they were accosted loading the cattle into an awaiting lorry in Athi River.
According to residents the spate of livestock theft in the area has been rampant in the area with thousands of cattle stolen from the area in the past three years.
Locals claim suspected thieves are arrested and released in unclear circumstances to the chagrin of residents who continue losing livestock.